Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just what is fibromyalgia?

Those of us who have been told we have fibromyalgia know what it is..for those who don't know:

it is almost constant pain..

it is when a simple hug can hurt..

it is when you have not slept in days for more than an hour or two tops..

it is also when you just do nothing but sleep..

it is not being able to go buy your groceries as it hurts too much to walk the isles..

it is staying home when you would rather be at a yard sale...

it is people looking at you and thinking they look okay to me...

it is when it hurts too much to wash your own hair...

it is when too much heat renders you almost useless..

it is when too much cold renders you almost useless..

it is being too depressed or to filled with anxiety to go out of the house..

it is the above and so many more things!!

Now a clinical description is:

(Taken from Google Health

Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety.

Fibromyalgia can develop on its own or along with other musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

The overwhelming characteristic of fibromyalgia is long-standing, body-wide pain with defined tender points. Tender points are distinct from trigger points seen in other pain syndromes. Unlike tender points, trigger points can occur in isolation and represent a source of radiating pain, even in the absence of direct pressure.

Fibromyalgia pain can mimic the pain that occurs with various types of arthritis. However, the significant swelling, destruction, and deformity of joints seen in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis does not occur with fibromyalgia syndrome alone.

The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe. Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness.

For some patients, pain improves during the day and increases again during the evening, though many patients with fibromyalgia have day-long, unrelenting pain. Pain can increase with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.

Specific symptoms:

* Body aches
* Chronic facial muscle pain or aching
* Fatigue
* Irritable bowel syndrome
* Memory difficulties and cognitive difficulties
* Multiple tender areas (muscle and joint pain) on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, knees
* Numbness and tingling
* Palpitations
* Reduced exercise tolerance
* Sleep disturbances
* Tension or migraine headaches

Well, that is some of what the experts say (please do read the Google article), but what is it to you? To me it has been almost 17 years of working through my paid and trying to live a normal life as possible.
I do not know if you are a praying person but that is the thing that has helped me most is my faith in a greater power and my love of that power I know as God. And the love of my family.
Those two things plus my ability to be creative has helped me to cope. what gets you through a day and the pain?
God Bless you all!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Working Through The Pain!

When I was a child I was a skinny red headed freckled face girl with knobby knees..the one picked last for dodge ball teams and the one who everyone wanted to hit hard with that stupid ball!
I was the one who got nervous and over heated in music and threw up on the kids below me. I was the one who got straight A's in school, but yet not as cute as my little sisters who got fawned over if they happened to get above a C grade. Yes, I was the ugly duckling of school and our family. But yet I was the one who took care of everyone..the one who cooked, cleaned, sewed and got everyone ready for school. Not because I was told to do it but because I can not stand to see things not getting done!! Even now if I ask someone to do something (ie husband) and it does not get done right away, I just do it myself, if it is possible that is...
You see I never thought of myself as the ugly duckling or the last one picked..I knew one day I might be a swan and then too you always save the best for last!! I guess I never really knew any better and that was good!
I never thought of myself as sickly either, but when I looked back at my childhood, I guess I was not all that robust. I had constant leg cramps, we called them "Charley Horses" and would scream in agonizing pain they hurt so bad. I had stomach aches all the time and drank warm flat 7-up to ease them. I was the one of us kids who got everything first, measles, mumps, chicken pox, colds or flu. You name it I got it! But once again as soon as my little sisters got whatever the malady might be, I was on my own to take care of myself. My middle sister, Gwen, was hardly ever sick and when she was she slept it off in about a day. My little sister, Cherry Lee, was always very sickly and when I got sick they made me stay away from I am not and was not jealous because I did not know any better.
Well, as life would have it I did become a swan! If I say so myself I was quite the looker in my 20's-40's. I sang in a band and did not throw up on anyone! I taught music and the kids loved me and came after school to listen to music with me! I got into sales and was the top of my field! Was I an over achiever? Maybe, but mostly I was just me. But let me tell you, I liked the praise and accolades and the attention and not having to share that attention with little sisters!!
Then on my 44th birthday, God rattled my cage. I was happily married with a nice home and a beautiful grown family and grand children and a pretty decent job. But on that day something happened to me and down I went on the floor like a ton of bricks!! I could not walk!! The ER doc said it was most likely Multiple sclerosis. After many doctors and many clinics, I was told it was 90% Fibromyalgia and 10% MS and that on any day one might be more prevalent than the other. They put me on drugs that made me sleep all the time and I had no conception of time any longer. I stopped taking them..
At first the pain was unbearable and I could not sleep more than 10-15 minutes at a time. So I picked up my crochet hook or knitting needles and would knit or crochet all night long sometimes. Ross would go to sleep with me starting a project and wake up to it finished or almost finished and that include some really big afghans! My hooks and needles would fly during the night and most of the day too. I was working through the pain and using nothing more than some acetaminophen and found out Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) would help me to sleep. So I took those along with a huge dose of God's word from my Bible.
Now I am not saying everyone should do this (if your doctor says to take something you should listen and at least try to follow his directions), but for me prayer and some over the counter medications help..but what helps me most is my crafts and the many projects I work on..crafting is my best medicine next to my family, friends and God. So I have worked through the pain most of my life and have no reason to stop now!!
Life is a gift to be used every day,
Not to be smothered and hidden away;
It isn’t a thing to be stored in the chest
Where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your best;
It isn’t a joy to be sipped now and then,
And promptly put back in a dark place again.

Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of,
And one that the humblest may well make the most of;
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
Wear it and use it as much as you may;
Don’t keep it in niches and corners and grooves–
You’ll find that in service its beauty improves.
-Edgar A. Guest

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Darling Great giveaway!!

There is cutest apron give away with a fantastic book you have just got to enter!!

Getting to know you, err I mean me..:)

I am Genelle Voss and my husband calls me a diversified crafter as I make so many different things!

I started crafting and sewing some where around 5 years old and I started with embroidery. That quickly grew into making my own skirts..simple ones but yet I did it myself!! I got my love of the crafting and sewing arts mostly from my Great Aunt Myra, who could run an old treadle machine like the newest fastest electric ones!! She also was a very talented artist and did beautiful paintings and portraits. Then there was my Great grandmother Kate Torrey..a tall and very stern woman who made the most beautiful rugs you ever saw!! I would watch her for hours as she transformed rags into rugs that would take your breath away in their beauty! She also did embroidery work and was also an excellent seamstress.

My mother was the fastest crocheter you could ever imagine and never read from a pattern. I did not learn from her but got my desire to crochet from her. I just one day decided I was going to do it and got the hook and some yarn and an old Needlework Basket magazine and taught myself. I am quite proud of the fact that I have won many awards for my crocheting, mostly for my christening gowns.

Among the things I make are rugs, clothes, knit, tat, jewelry.. with wire, beads and polymer clay, cards, prims, dolls (both cloth and sculpted) and other stuffed beings, learning to make fascinators and hats, some scrapbooking and anything else that might come my way!! I want so much to be a better canvas artist, but not too good at that and hope to take some online classes soon.

I give a lot of credit to some of the great crafters we have seen on tv in the past..such as Aleene Jackson, Tiffany Windsor, Heidi Borchers and the guests they used to have on Aleene's Creative Living and to Carol Duvall..all of these great crafting pioneers taught me many things via TV and now on the internet!! A big thanks to them!!

I enjoy watching Create TV and the crafting and crochet and knitting programs and also the ones on PBS. I adore Martha Pullen!! I find Mark Montano so refreshing and creative and think Cathie Fillian and Amy Anderson are the bomb!! I am also quite inspired by Andrea Currie who has such a unbeatable and wonderful spirit.

As for me personally I am a 60 year old Christian wife, mother of five, grandmother to 9, great grand mother to 2 and mommy to many cats and 5 dogs. I love the Dallas Cowboys and Nascar (Mark Martin is my fav!) and Dwight Yoakam!! I love Facebook and the many friends I have found there and am enjoying the new website "The Hive".

We lost our home to a fire a bit over a year ago and lost all we had..but we are blessed and we have each other and our heavenly Father and that is most important to us. I am slowly rebuilding my crafting supplies and hope to be able to start selling my items again one day soon.

I am so pleased to have you reading my blog and please do feel free to leave any comments. God bless you all!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

No News Was Not Good News

In our lives we can recall exactly where we were the day we heard certain things about people places and things..for me I know exactly where I was on the day that Marilyn Monroe died, the day JFK was assassinated, the day The Beatles arrived in the USA and the day we found out Elvis was gone..
On August 16, 1977 I was at my sister's home in Polo, Missouri on vacation and watching her children for her that day. We never had the radio or the television on all day, so we did not know what had happened until my sister came home that late afternoon.
She sat in the car for awhile and as I went to see what was up, I could see she was crying. Oh no was my first thought, what was wrong?? My sister was not one prone to crying much unless something really bad had transpired. As most people would I was thinking this was a family matter..
When I got to the car she looked at me and her eyes were quite red and swollen and she asked me if I had heard..heard what?? Elvis is dead she says..I looked at her like she just dropped from Mars! Elvis Presley?? Yes she said who else do you know by that name? Of course the tears sprang to my eyes as my thoughts turned to the fact I had tickets for myself and my boyfriend to see him in Springfield, Massachusetts the next month. I had waited so many years to see Elvis and now it was not to be! He had been at fairs close to us as we grew up but we never got to go to those and had watched him faithfully on anything we could.
That night we took the kids to dinner and went to the laundromat to wash clothes and every where people were sobbing and kind of in a state of shock. I remembered the zombie like state we all moved in when JFK was shot and we were not much different that night.
I must admit as I was growing up The Beatles had taken over my musical taste and I had not followed Elvis as much until I had reached my 20's and then I began to listen to his music more and more. I loved "Moody Blue" and had one of the blue vinyl copies of the 33 1/3 LP and played it almost everyday. His music had become mellow and rich and appealed to me more than most artists of that time.
My thoughts went to the boyfriend I had as a teenager, Bobby Dean Jennings, and how he might feel right now as he used to do a spot on Elvis impersonation and would serenade me with Elvis songs all the time and oh how he could move his legs in that same Elvis shake!! Still makes me smile to think about it!
So I never got to see Elvis perform in person and even traded the tickets in for another concert..wish I had not done that as I have seen tickets like that go on Ebay..but more than selling them, I wish I had kept that little piece of Elvis memorabilia.
So to me that was the day the music died..but I knew there would be more days to come that others we so love to listen to and watch would leave us too. At least on this mortal world on our audio and video equipment ELVIS LIVES in our hearts!!